SEMPAC >> Community Outreach
National Outreach Network (NON) Community Health Educator (CHE)

National Outreach Network Biospecimen Pilot Educational Intervention

Many older Detroiters have cited that they have not been asked to participate in medical research or to donate a biospecimen, most indicate they will consider donating. An educational resource was developed and it is geared toward raising awareness and informing potential donors. Not only do we expect the program to create an informed donor but it may also increase the number of diverse individuals participating in medical research. Community Based Participatory Research principles have been used to engage the community, create lasting partnerships and increase participation in medical research in underserved communities. The specific aims for the research project are as follows:

Specific Aims

Aim One: Establish a new CHE initiated community education/outreach project, based upon the principles of community based participatory research that modifies an existing biospecimen/biobanking educational program. This program will provide education in geographically targeted minority communities to raise awareness of issues related to the need for biospecimens and biobanking in cancer research to reduce and eliminate disparities. The modification of materials will involve devising multi-media interventions (print, presentation, web based video, etc.) to reach as many people in the targeted geographical neighborhoods as possible and to accommodate various learning styles.

Aim Two: To adapt, revise and pilot test educational materials and a workshop aimed at increasing knowledge and understanding of African Americans about the need for biospecimen/biobanking for cancer research.

Aim Three: Identify geographic centers for educational program implementation. These will be areas within the KCI/CCSG catchment area that have a high percentage of African Americans and are underrepresented in the Community Based Research Registry (CBRR).

  • Generate CBRR database of African Americans by age and address.
  • Generate census driven population map of southeast Michigan of African American adults.
  • Combine two sources of data to identify areas for educational intervention.
  • With community partners, identify community activity centers, community college/university venues and other sites for educational presentations and recruitment to CBRR.


Aim Four: Establish baseline representation and sociodemographics of African Americans from within identified geographic centers.

Aim Five: (year 2) Implement educational intervention to target population in identified areas and measure effectiveness.

  • At sites determined in Aim 3, implement educational intervention, including invitation to join CBRR.
  • Compare pre-post intervention results to determine whether positive changes occur in knowledge, understanding and accrual rates to the CBRR.


In order to carry out the aims of the project the CHE presented the “Protecting Future Generations: Biospecimen Collection and Use in Research” to an internal group for feedback. The presentation includes a description of the biospecimen donation process, the importance of biospecimens, a brief description of genetics and cancer, and informed consent. Some parts were adapted from the Cancer 101 modules. Before making changes suggested by the internal group, another presentation was given to the Beliefs pilot project Research Advisory Committee (RAC), which is a group of community members who provide services to the population of interest. The CHE also gave a pre/post test, which will also be given to community members once all modifications are finalized. The pre/post test will provide the necessary knowledge to make changes to the presentation where needed. Based on the results of the pre/post test with the RAC, the questions to assess knowledge have been changed. Finally, during the month of October, the CHE tested the presentation and the pre/post test to a group of community members. With the feedback from the internal group, the Research Advisory Committee, and the community members, the CHE made changes and is scheduled to present to a group of Detroit residents aged 55 and older in February 2013. The revised pre/post test will be used to determine the effectiveness of the presentation.